Khmer Rouge victory
Fall of the Kingdom of Cambodia
Creation, then collapse, of the Khmer Republic
Establishment of Democratic Kampuchea
Beginning of the Cambodian genocide
Khmer Republic (1970–1975)
National United Front of Kampuchea
Khmer Việt Minh
Commanders and leaders
Sisowath Sirik Matak
Casualties and losses
Laotian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
FULRO insurgency against Vietnam
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War (Khmer:
សង្គ្រាមស៊ីវិលកម្ពុជា) was a
military conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of
Kampuchea (known as the Khmer Rouge) and their allies the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam
Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the
Viet Cong against the
government forces of the Kingdom of
Cambodia and, after October 1970,
the Khmer Republic, which were supported by the
United States (U.S.)
Republic of Vietnam
Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).
The struggle was complicated by the influence and actions of the
allies of the two warring sides. North Vietnam's People's Army of
Vietnam (PAVN) involvement was designed to protect its Base Areas and
sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia, without which the prosecution of its
military effort in
South Vietnam would have been more difficult. The
Cambodian coup of 18 March 1970 put a pro-American, anti-North
Vietnamese government in power and ended Cambodia's neutrality in the
Vietnam War. The PAVN was now threatened by a newly unfriendly
Between March and June 1970, the North Vietnamese moved many of its
military installations further inside
Cambodia to protect them from
U.S. incursions and bombing, capturing most of the northeastern third
of the country in engagements with the Cambodian army. The North
Vietnamese turned over some of their conquests and provided other
assistance to the Khmer Rouge, thus empowering what was at the time a
small guerilla movement. The Cambodian government hastened to
expand its army to combat the North Vietnamese and the growing power
of the Khmer Rouge.
The U.S. was motivated by the desire to buy time for its withdrawal
from Southeast Asia, to protect its ally in South Vietnam, and to
prevent the spread of communism to Cambodia. American and both South
and North Vietnamese forces directly participated (at one time or
another) in the fighting. The U.S. assisted the central government
with massive U.S. aerial bombing campaigns and direct material and
After five years of savage fighting, the Republican government was
defeated on 17 April 1975 when the victorious
Khmer Rouge proclaimed
the establishment of Democratic Kampuchea. The war caused a refugee
Cambodia with two million people—more than 25 percent of
the population—displaced from rural areas into the cities,
Phnom Penh which grew from about 600,000 in 1970 to an
estimated population of nearly 2 million by 1975. The Cambodian
government estimated that more than 20 percent of the property in the
country had been destroyed during the war. In total,
240,000–800,000 people were killed as a result of the war.
The conflict was part of the Second Indochina War (1959–1975) which
also consumed the neighboring Kingdom of Laos, South Vietnam, and
North Vietnam individually referred to as the
Laotian Civil War
Laotian Civil War and
Vietnam War respectively. The Cambodian civil war led to the
Cambodian Genocide, one of the bloodiest in history.
1 Setting the stage (1965–1970)
1.2 Revolt in Battambang
1.3 Communist regroupment
Operation Menu and Operation Freedom Deal
2 Overthrow of Sihanouk (1970)
Lon Nol coup
2.2 Massacre of the Vietnamese
2.3 FUNK and GRUNK
3 Widening war (1970–1971)
3.1 North Vietnamese offensive in Cambodia
3.2 Opposing sides
3.3 Chenla II
4 Agony of the
Khmer Republic (1972–1975)
4.1 Struggling to survive
4.2 Shape of things to come
4.3 Fall of Phnom Penh
5 War crimes
6 See also
9 External links
Setting the stage (1965–1970)
Further information on the rule of Prince Sihanouk:
Further information on the PAVN/NLF logistical system: Sihanouk Trail
During the early-to-mid-1960s, Prince Norodom Sihanouk's policies had
protected his nation from the turmoil that engulfed Laos and South
Vietnam. Neither the People's Republic of
China (PRC) nor North
Vietnam disputed Sihanouk's claim to represent "progressive" political
policies and the leadership of the prince's domestic leftist
Pracheachon Party, had been integrated into the
government. On 3 May 1965, Sihanouk broke diplomatic relations
with the U.S., ended the flow of American aid, and turned to the PRC
Soviet Union for economic and military assistance.
By the late 1960s, Sihanouk's delicate domestic and foreign policy
balancing act was beginning to go awry. In 1966, an agreement was
struck between the prince and the Chinese, allowing the presence of
large-scale PAVN and
Viet Cong troop deployments and logistical bases
in the eastern border regions. He had also agreed to allow the use
of the port of Sihanoukville by communist-flagged vessels delivering
supplies and material to support the PAVN/
Viet Cong military effort in
South Vietnam. These concessions made questionable Cambodia's
neutrality, which had been guaranteed by the Geneva Conference of
Meeting in Beijing: Mao Zedong (left), Prince Sihanouk (center), and
Liu Shaoqi (right)
Sihanouk was convinced that the PRC, not the U.S., would eventually
control the Indochinese Peninsula and that "our interests are best
served by dealing with the camp that one day will dominate the whole
of Asia – and coming to terms before its victory – in order to
obtain the best terms possible."
During the same year, however, he allowed his pro-American minister of
defense, General Lon Nol, to crack down on leftist activities,
Pracheachon by accusing its members of subversion and
subservience to Hanoi. Simultaneously, Sihanouk lost the support
of Cambodia's conservatives as a result of his failure to come to
grips with the deteriorating economic situation (exacerbated by the
loss of rice exports, most of which went to the PAVN/Viet Cong) and
with the growing communist military presence.[a]
On 11 September 1966,
Cambodia held its first open election. Through
manipulation and harassment (and to Sihanouk's surprise) the
conservatives won 75 percent of the seats in the National
Lon Nol was chosen by the right as prime minister
and, as his deputy, they named Prince Sirik Matak; an
ultraconservative member of the Sisowath branch of the royal clan and
long-time enemy of Sihanouk. In addition to these developments and the
clash of interests among Phnom Penh's politicized elite, social
tensions created a favorable environment for the growth of a domestic
communist insurgency in the rural areas.
Revolt in Battambang
Further information: Samlaut Uprising
The prince then found himself in a political dilemma. To maintain the
balance against the rising tide of the conservatives, he named the
leaders of the very group he had been oppressing as members of a
"counter-government" that was meant to monitor and criticize Lon Nol's
administration. One of Lon Nol's first priorities was to fix the
ailing economy by halting the illegal sale of rice to the communists.
Soldiers were dispatched to the rice-growing areas to forcibly collect
the harvests at gunpoint, and they paid only the low government price.
There was widespread unrest, especially in rice-rich Battambang
Province, an area long-noted for the presence of large landowners,
great disparity in wealth, and where the communists still had some
influence. On 11 March 1967, while Sihanouk was out of the
country in France, a rebellion broke out in the area around Samlaut in
Battambang, when enraged villagers attacked a tax collection brigade.
With the probable encouragement of local communist cadres, the
insurrection quickly spread throughout the whole region. Lon Nol,
acting in the prince's absence (but with his approval), responded by
declaring martial law. Hundreds of peasants were killed and whole
villages were laid waste during the repression. After returning
home in March, Sihanouk abandoned his centrist position and personally
ordered the arrest of Khieu Samphan, Hou Yuon, and Hu Nim, the leaders
of the "counter government", all of whom escaped into the
Simultaneously, Sihanouk ordered the arrest of Chinese middlemen
involved in the illegal rice trade, thereby raising government
revenues and placating the conservatives.
Lon Nol was forced to
resign, and, in a typical move, the prince named new leftists to the
government to balance the conservatives. The immediate crisis had
passed, but it engendered two tragic consequences. First, it drove
thousands of new recruits into the arms of the hard-line maquis of the
Cambodian Communist Party (which Sihanouk labelled the Khmers rouges
("Red Khmers")). Second, for the peasantry, the name of
Lon Nol became
associated with ruthless repression throughout Cambodia.
Further information: Khmer Rouge
While the 1967 insurgency had been unplanned, the
Khmer Rouge tried,
without much success, to organize a more serious revolt during the
following year. The prince's decimation of the Prachea Chon and the
urban communists had, however, cleared the field of competition for
Saloth Sar (also known as Pol Pot), Ieng Sary, and Son Sen—the
Maoist leadership of the maquisards. They led their followers into
the highlands of the northeast and into the lands of the Khmer Loeu, a
primitive people who were hostile to both the lowland Khmers and the
central government. For the Khmer Rouge, who still lacked assistance
from the North Vietnamese, it was a period of regroupment,
organization, and training.
Hanoi basically ignored its
Chinese-sponsored allies, and the indifference of their "fraternal
comrades" to their insurgency between 1967 and 1969 would make an
indelible impression on the
Khmer Rouge leadership.
On 17 January 1968, the
Khmer Rouge launched their first offensive. It
was aimed more at gathering weapons and spreading propaganda than in
seizing territory since, at that time, the adherents of the insurgency
numbered no more than 4–5,000. During the same month, the
communists established the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea as the
military wing of the party. As early as the end of the Battambang
revolt, Sihanouk had begun to reevaluate his relationship with the
communists. His earlier agreement with the Chinese had availed him
nothing. They had not only failed to restrain the North Vietnamese,
but they had actually involved themselves (through the Khmer Rouge) in
active subversion within his country. At the suggestion of Lon Nol
(who had returned to the cabinet as defense minister in November 1968)
and other conservative politicians, on 11 May 1969, the prince
welcomed the restoration of normal diplomatic relations with the U.S.
and created a new Government of National Salvation with
Lon Nol as his
prime minister. He did so "in order to play a new card, since the
Asian communists are already attacking us before the end of the
Vietnam War." Besides, PAVN and the
Viet Cong would make very
convenient scapegoats for Cambodia's ills, much more so than the
minuscule Khmer Rouge, and ridding
Cambodia of their presence would
solve many problems simultaneously.
Operation Menu and Operation Freedom Deal
Further information on the bombing campaign:
Operation Menu and
Operation Freedom Deal
Although the U.S. had been aware of the PAVN/
Viet Cong sanctuaries in
Cambodia since 1966, President
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson had chosen not to
attack them due to possible international repercussions and his belief
that Sihanouk could be convinced to alter his policies. Johnson
did, however, authorize the reconnaissance teams of the highly
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and
Observations Group (SOG) to enter
Cambodia and gather intelligence on
the Base Areas in 1967. The election of
Richard M. Nixon
Richard M. Nixon in 1968
and the introduction of his policies of gradual U.S. withdrawal from
South Vietnam and the
Vietnamization of the conflict there, changed
everything. On 18 March 1969, on secret orders from Nixon, the U.S.
Air Force carried out the bombing of Base Area 353 (in the Fishhook
region opposite South Vietnam's Tây Ninh Province) by 59 B-52
Stratofortress bombers. This strike was the first in a series of
attacks on the sanctuaries that lasted until May 1970. During
Operation Menu, the Air Force conducted 3,875 sorties and dropped more
than 108,000 tons of ordnance on the eastern border areas. Only
five high-ranking Congressional officials were informed of the
After the event, it was claimed by Nixon and Kissinger that Sihanouk
had given his tacit approval for the raids, but this is dubious.
Sihanouk told U.S. diplomat
Chester Bowles on January 10, 1968, that
he would not oppose American "hot pursuit" of retreating North
Vietnamese troops "in remote areas [of Cambodia]," provided that
Cambodians were unharmed. Kenton Clymer notes that this statement
"cannot reasonably be construed to mean that Sihanouk approved of the
intensive, ongoing B-52 bombing raids ... In any event, no one
asked him. ... Sihanouk was never asked to approve the B-52
bombings, and he never gave his approval." During the course of
the Menu bombings, Sihanouk's government formally protested "American
violation[s] of Cambodian territory and airspace" at the United
Nations on over 100 occasions, although it "specifically protested the
use of B-52s" only once, following an attack on Bu Chric in November
Operation Freedom Deal
Operation Freedom Deal followed Operation Menu. Under Freedom Deal,
from 19 May 1970 to 15 August 1973, U.S. bombing of
over the entire eastern one-half of the country and was especially
intense in the heavily populated southeastern one-quarter of the
country, including a wide ring surrounding the largest city of Phnom
Penh. In large areas, according to maps of U.S. bombing sites, it
appears that nearly every square mile of land was hit by bombs.
The effectiveness of the U.S. bombing on the
Khmer Rouge and the death
toll of Cambodian civilians is disputed. With limited data, the range
of Cambodian deaths caused by U.S. bombing may be between 40,000 and
150,000 Cambodian civilians and
Khmer Rouge fighters.
Another impact of the U.S. bombing and the Cambodian civil war was to
destroy the homes and livelihood of many people. This was a heavy
contributor to the refugee crisis in Cambodia.
It has been argued that the U.S. intervention in
to the eventual seizure of power by the Khmer Rouge, that grew from
4,000 in number in 1970 to 70,000 in 1975. This view has been
disputed, with documents uncovered from the Soviet
archives revealing that the North Vietnamese offensive in
1970 was launched at the explicit request of the
Khmer Rouge following
negotiations with Nuon Chea. It has also been argued that U.S.
bombing was decisive in delaying a Khmer Rouge
Overthrow of Sihanouk (1970)
Lon Nol coup
Further information: Cambodian coup of 1970
While Sihanouk was out of the country on a trip to France,
anti-Vietnamese rioting (which was semi-sponsored by the government)
took place in Phnom Penh, during which the North Vietnamese and Viet
Cong embassies were sacked. In the prince's absence, Lon Nol
did nothing to halt these activities. On 12th, the prime minister
closed the port of Sihanoukville to the North Vietnamese and issued an
impossible ultimatum to them. All PAVN/
Viet Cong forces were to
withdraw from Cambodian soil within 72 hours (on 15 March) or face
Sihanouk, hearing of the turmoil, headed for Moscow and Beijing in
order to demand that the patrons of PAVN and the
Viet Cong exert more
control over their clients. On 18 March 1970,
Lon Nol requested
that the National Assembly vote on the future of the prince's
leadership of the nation. Sihanouk was ousted from power by a vote of
92–0. Heng Cheng became president of the National Assembly,
while Prime Minister
Lon Nol was granted emergency powers. Sirik Matak
retained his post as deputy prime minister. The new government
emphasized that the transfer of power had been totally legal and
constitutional and it received the recognition of most foreign
governments. There have been, and continue to be, accusations that the
U.S. government played some role in the overthrow of Sihanouk, but
conclusive evidence has never been found to support them.
The majority of middle-class and educated Khmers had grown weary of
the prince and welcomed the change of government. They were joined
by the military, for whom the prospect of the return of American
military and financial aid was a cause for celebration. Within
days of his deposition, Sihanouk, now in Beijing, broadcast an appeal
to the people to resist the usurpers. Demonstrations and riots
occurred (mainly in areas contiguous to PAVN/
Viet Cong controlled
areas), but no nationwide groundswell threatened the government.
In one incident at Kampong Cham on 29 March, however, an enraged crowd
killed Lon Nol's brother, Lon Nil, tore out his liver, and cooked and
ate it. An estimated 40,000 peasants then began to march on the
capital to demand Sihanouk's reinstatement. They were dispersed, with
many casualties, by contingents of the armed forces.
Massacre of the Vietnamese
Most of the population, urban and rural, took out their anger and
frustrations on the nation's Vietnamese population. Lon Nol's call for
10,000 volunteers to boost the manpower of Cambodia's poorly equipped,
30,000-man army, managed to swamp the military with over 70,000
recruits. Rumours abounded concerning a possible PAVN offensive
Phnom Penh itself. Paranoia flourished and this set off a
violent reaction against the nation's 400,000 ethnic Vietnamese.
Lon Nol hoped to use the Vietnamese as hostages against PAVN/Viet Cong
activities, and the military set about rounding them up into detention
camps. That was when the killing began. In towns and villages all
over Cambodia, soldiers and civilians sought out their Vietnamese
neighbors in order to murder them. On 15 April, the bodies of 800
Vietnamese floated down the
Mekong River and into South Vietnam.
The South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese, and the
Viet Cong all harshly
denounced these actions. Significantly, no Cambodians—including
the Buddhist community—condemned the killings. In his apology to the
Lon Nol stated that "it was difficult to
distinguish between Vietnamese citizens who were
Viet Cong and those
who were not. So it is quite normal that the reaction of Cambodian
troops, who feel themselves betrayed, is difficult to control."
FUNK and GRUNK
From Beijing, Sihanouk proclaimed that the government in Phnom Penh
was dissolved and his intention to create the Front uni national du
Kampuchéa (National United Front of Kampuchea) or FUNK. Sihanouk
later said "I had chosen not to be with either the Americans or the
communists, because I considered that there were two dangers, American
imperialism and Asian communism. It was
Lon Nol who obliged me to
choose between them."
The North Vietnamese reacted to the political changes in
Phạm Văn Đồng
Phạm Văn Đồng to meet Sihanouk in
recruit him into an alliance with the Khmer Rouge.
Pol Pot was also
contacted by the Vietnamese who now offered him whatever resources he
wanted for his insurgency against the Cambodian government. Pol Pot
and Sihanouk were actually in Beijing at the same time but the
Vietnamese and Chinese leaders never informed Sihanouk of the presence
Pol Pot or allowed the two men to meet. Shortly after, Sihanouk
issued an appeal by radio to the people of
Cambodia to rise up against
the government and support the Khmer Rouge. In doing so, Sihanouk lent
his name and popularity in the rural areas of
Cambodia to a movement
over which he had little control. In May 1970,
Pol Pot finally
Cambodia and the pace of the insurgency greatly increased.
After Sihanouk showed his support for the
Khmer Rouge by visiting them
in the field, their ranks swelled from 6,000 to 50,000 fighters.
The prince then allied himself with the Khmer Rouge, the North
Vietnamese, the Laotian
Pathet Lao and the Viet Cong, throwing his
personal prestige behind the communists. On 5 May, the actual
establishment of FUNK and of the Gouvernement royal d'union nationale
du Kampuchéa or
GRUNK (Royal Government of National Union of
Kampuchea), was proclaimed. Sihanouk assumed the post of head of
state, appointing Penn Nouth, one of his most loyal supporters, as
Khieu Samphan was designated deputy prime minister, minister of
defense, and commander in chief of the
GRUNK armed forces (though
actual military operations were directed by Pol Pot). Hu Nim became
minister of information, and
Hou Yuon assumed multiple
responsibilities as minister of the interior, communal reforms, and
GRUNK claimed that it was not a government-in-exile
Khieu Samphan and the insurgents remained inside Cambodia.
Sihanouk and his loyalists remained in China, although the prince did
make a visit to the "liberated areas" of Cambodia, including Angkor
Wat, in March 1973. These visits were used mainly for propaganda
purposes and had no real influence on political affairs.
For Sihanouk, this proved to be a marriage of convenience that was
spurred on by his thirst for revenge against those who had betrayed
him. For the Khmer Rouge, it was a means to greatly expand the
appeal of their movement. Peasants, motivated by loyalty to the
monarchy, gradually rallied to the
GRUNK cause. The personal
appeal of Sihanouk, and widespread US aerial bombardment helped
recruitment. This task was made even easier for the communists after 9
October 1970, when
Lon Nol abolished the loosely federalist monarchy
and proclaimed the establishment of a centralized Khmer Republic.
GRUNK was soon caught between the competing Communist powers:
China and the Soviet Union. During the visits which
Zhou Enlai and Sihanouk paid to
North Korea in April
and June 1970, respectively, they called for the establishment of a
"united front of the five revolutionary Asian countries" (China, North
Korea, North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, the last being represented
by the GRUNK). While the North Korean leaders enthusiastically
welcomed the plan, it soon foundered on Hanoi’s opposition. Having
realized that such a front would exclude the
Soviet Union and
implicitly challenge the hegemonic role that the DRV had arrogated to
itself in Indochina, the North Vietnamese leaders declared that all
communist states should join forces against "American imperialism."
Indeed, the issue of Vietnamese versus Chinese hegemony over Indochina
greatly influenced the attitude
Hanoi adopted towards Moscow in the
early and mid-1970s. During the Cambodian civil war, the Soviet
leaders, ready to acquiesce in Hanoi’s dominance over Laos and
Cambodia, actually insisted on sending their aid shipments to the
Khmer Rouge through the DRV, whereas
China firmly rebuffed Hanoi's
proposal that Chinese aid to
Cambodia be sent via North Vietnam.
Facing Chinese competition and Soviet acquiescence, the North
Vietnamese leaders found the Soviet option more advantageous to their
interests, a calculation that played a major role in the gradual
pro-Soviet shift in Hanoi's foreign policies.
Widening war (1970–1971)
North Vietnamese offensive in Cambodia
In the wake of the coup,
Lon Nol did not immediately launch Cambodia
into war. He appealed to the international community and to the United
Nations in an attempt to gain support for the new government and
condemned violations of Cambodia's neutrality "by foreign forces,
whatever camp they come from." His hope for continued neutralism
availed him no more than it had Sihanouk. On 29 March 1970, the North
Vietnamese had taken matters into their own hands and launched an
offensive against the now renamed Forces Armees Nationales Khemeres or
FANK (Khmer National Armed Forces) with documents uncovered from the
Soviet archives revealing that the offensive was launched at the
explicit request of the
Khmer Rouge following negotiations with Nuon
Chea. The North Vietnamese overran most of northeastern
On 29 April 1970, South Vietnamese and U.S. units unleashed a limited,
Cambodian Campaign that Washington hoped would solve
three problems: First, it would provide a shield for the American
withdrawal from Vietnam (by destroying the PAVN logistical system and
killing enemy troops) in Cambodia; second, it would provide a test for
the policy of Vietnamization; third, it would serve as a signal to
Hanoi that Nixon meant business. Despite Nixon's appreciation of
Lon Nol's position, the Cambodian leader was not even informed in
advance of the decision to send troops into his country. He learned
about it only after it had begun from the head of the U.S. mission,
who had himself learned about it from a radio broadcast.
Extensive logistical installations and large amounts of supplies were
found and destroyed, but as reporting from the American command in
Saigon disclosed, still larger amounts of military material had
already been moved further from the border to shelter it from the
Cambodia by the U.S. and South Vietnam.
On the day the incursion was launched, the North Vietnamese launched
an offensive (Campaign X) of its own against FANK forces at the
request of the Khmer Rouge and in order to protect and expand
their Base Areas and logistical system. By June, three months
after the removal of Sihanouk, they had swept government forces from
the entire northeastern third of the country. After defeating those
forces, the North Vietnamese turned the newly won territories over to
the local insurgents. The
Khmer Rouge also established "liberated"
areas in the south and the southwestern parts of the country, where
they operated independently of the North Vietnamese.
As combat operations quickly revealed, the two sides were badly
mismatched. FANK, whose ranks had been increased by thousands of young
urban Cambodians who had flocked to join it in the months following
the removal of Sihanouk, had expanded well beyond its capacity to
absorb the new men. Later, given the press of tactical operations
and the need to replace combat casualties, there was insufficient time
to impart needed skills to individuals or to units, and lack of
training remained the bane of FANK's existence until its collapse.
Cambodian officers and U.S. officials, 1971
During the period 1974–1975, FANK forces officially grew from
100,000 to approximately 250,000 men, but probably only numbered
around 180,000 due to payroll padding by their officers and due to
desertions. U.S. military aid (ammunition, supplies, and
equipment) was funneled to FANK through the Military Equipment
Cambodia (MEDTC). Authorized a total of 113 officers
and men, the team arrived in
Phnom Penh in 1971, under the overall
CINCPAC Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. The attitude of the
Nixon administration could be summed up by the advice given by Henry
Kissinger to the first head of the liaison team, Colonel Jonathan
Ladd: "Don't think of victory; just keep it alive." Nevertheless,
McCain constantly petitioned the Pentagon for more arms, equipment,
and staff for what he proprietarily viewed as "my war".
There were other problems. The officer corps of FANK was generally
corrupt and greedy. The inclusion of "ghost" soldiers allowed
massive payroll padding; ration allowances were kept by the officers
while their men starved; and the sale of arms and ammunition on the
black market (or to the enemy) was commonplace. Worse, the
tactical ineptitude among FANK officers was as common as their
Lon Nol frequently bypassed the general staff and directed
operations down to battalion-level while also forbidding any real
coordination between the army, navy and air force.
The common soldiers fought bravely at first, but they were saddled
with low pay (with which they had to purchase their own food and
medical care), ammunition shortages, and mixed equipment. Due to the
pay system, there were no allotments for their families, who were,
therefore, forced to follow their husbands/sons into the battle zones.
These problems (exacerbated by continuously declining morale) only
increased over time.
At the beginning of 1974, the Cambodian army inventory included
241,630 rifles, 7,079 machine guns, 2,726 mortars, 20,481 grenade
launchers, 304 recoilless rifles, 289 howitzers, 202 APCs, and 4,316
trucks. The Khmer Navy had 171 vessels; the
Khmer Air Force
Khmer Air Force had 211
aircraft, including 64 North American T-28s, 14 Douglas AC-47 gunships
and 44 helicopters. American Embassy military personnel – who were
only supposed to coordinate the arms aid program – sometimes found
themselves involved in prohibited advisory and combat tasks.
When PAVN forces were supplanted, it was by the tough, rigidly
indoctrinated peasant army of the
Khmer Rouge with its core of
seasoned leaders, who now received the full support of Hanoi. Khmer
Rouge forces, which had been reorganized at an Indochinese summit held
China in April 1970, would grow from 12–15,000 in 1970
to 35–40,000 by 1972, when the so-called "Khmerization" of the
conflict took place and combat operations against the Republic were
handed over completely to the insurgents.
The development of these forces took place in three stages. 1970 to
1972 was a period of organization and recruitment, during which Khmer
Rouge units served as auxiliaries to the PAVN. From 1972 to mid-1974,
the insurgents formed units of battalion and regimental size. It was
during this period that the
Khmer Rouge began to break away from
Sihanouk and his supporters and the collectivization of agriculture
was begun in the "liberated" areas. Division-sized units were being
fielded by 1974–1975, when the party was on its own and began the
radical transformation of the country.
With the fall of Sihanouk,
Hanoi became alarmed at the prospect of a
pro-Western regime that might allow the Americans to establish a
military presence on their western flank. To prevent that from
happening, they began transferring their military installations away
from the border regions to locations deeper within Cambodian
territory. A new command center was established at the city of Kratié
and the timing of the move was propitious. President Nixon was of the
"We need a bold move in
Cambodia to show that we stand with Lon
Nol...something symbolic...for the only Cambodian regime that had the
guts to take a pro-Western and pro-American stand."
Further information: Operation Chenla II
Areas under government control, August 1970
During the night of 21 January 1971, a force of 100 PAVN/Viet Cong
commandos attacked Pochentong airfield, the main base of the Khmer Air
Force. In this one action, the raiders destroyed almost the entire
inventory of government aircraft, including all of its fighter planes.
This may have been a blessing in disguise, however, since the air
force was largely composed of old (even obsolete) Soviet aircraft. The
Americans soon replaced the airplanes with more advanced models. The
attack did, however, stall a proposed FANK offensive. Two weeks later,
Lon Nol suffered a stroke and was evacuated to Hawaii for treatment.
It had been a mild stroke, however, and the general recovered quickly,
Cambodia after only two months.
It was not until 20 August that FANK launched Operation Chenla II, its
first offensive of the year. The objective of the campaign was to
clear Route 6 of enemy forces and thereby reopen communications with
Kompong Thom, the Republic's second largest city, which had been
isolated from the capital for more than a year. The operation was
initially successful, and the city was relieved. The PAVN and Khmer
Rouge counterattacked in November and December, annihilating
government forces in the process. There was never an accurate count of
the losses, but the estimate was "on the order of ten battalions of
personnel and equipment lost plus the equipment of an additional ten
battalions." The strategic result of the failure of Chenla II was
that the offensive initiative passed completely into the hands of PAVN
and the Khmer Rouge.
Agony of the
Khmer Republic (1972–1975)
Struggling to survive
Further information on the bombing campaign: Operation Freedom Deal
From 1972 through 1974, the war was conducted along FANK's lines of
communications north and south of the capital. Limited offensives were
launched to maintain contact with the rice-growing regions of the
northwest and along the
Mekong River and Route 5, the Republic's
overland connections to South Vietnam. The strategy of the Khmer Rouge
was to gradually cut those lines of communication and squeeze Phnom
Penh. As a result, FANK forces became fragmented, isolated, and unable
to lend one another mutual support.
The main U.S. contribution to the FANK effort came in the form of the
bombers and tactical aircraft of the U.S. Air Force. When President
Nixon launched the incursion in 1970, American and South Vietnamese
troops operated under an umbrella of air cover that was designated
Operation Freedom Deal. When those troops were withdrawn, the air
operation continued, ostensibly to interdict PAVN/
Viet Cong troop
movements and logistics. In reality (and unknown to the U.S.
Congress and American public), they were utilized to provide tactical
air support to FANK. As a former U.S. military officer in Phnom
Penh reported, "the areas around the
Mekong River were so full of bomb
craters from B-52 strikes that, by 1973, they looked like the valleys
of the moon."
Memorial in Cambodia: a Soviet-built T-54 tank
On 10 March 1972, just before the newly renamed Constituent Assembly
was to approve a revised constitution,
Lon Nol announced that he was
suspending the deliberations. He then forced Cheng Heng, the chief of
state since Sihanouk's deposition, to surrender his authority to him.
On the second anniversary of the coup,
Lon Nol relinquished his
authority as chief of state, but retained his position as prime
minister and defense minister.
On 4 June,
Lon Nol was elected as the first president of the Khmer
Republic in a blatantly rigged election. As per the new
constitution (ratified on 30 April), political parties formed in the
new nation, quickly becoming a source of political factionalism.
General Sutsakhan stated: "the seeds of democratization, which had
been thrown into the wind with such goodwill by the Khmer leaders,
returned for the
Khmer Republic nothing but a poor harvest."
In January 1973, hope was renewed when the
Paris Peace Accords
Paris Peace Accords were
signed, ending the conflict (for the time being) in
South Vietnam and
Laos. On 29 January,
Lon Nol proclaimed a unilateral cease-fire
throughout the nation. All U.S. bombing operations were halted in
hopes of securing a chance for peace. It was not to be. The Khmer
Rouge simply ignored the proclamation and carried on fighting. By
March, heavy casualties, desertions, and low recruitment had forced
Lon Nol to introduce conscription and, in April, insurgent forces
launched an offensive that pushed into the suburbs of the capital. The
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force responded by launching an intense bombing operation
that forced the communists back into the countryside after being
decimated by the air strikes. The US Seventh Air Force argued that
the bombing prevented the fall of
Phnom Penh in 1973 by killing 16,000
Khmer Rouge fighters besieging the city.
By the last day of
Operation Freedom Deal
Operation Freedom Deal (15 August 1973), 250,000
tons of bombs had been dropped on the Khmer Republic, 82,000 tons of
which had been released in the last 45 days of the operation.
Since the inception of
Operation Menu in 1969, the
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Air Force had
dropped 539,129 tons of ordnance on Cambodia/Khmer Republic.
Shape of things to come
As late as 1972–1973, it was a commonly held belief, both within and
outside Cambodia, that the war was essentially a foreign conflict that
had not fundamentally altered the nature of the Khmer people. By
late 1973, there was a growing awareness among the government and
population of the fanaticism, total lack of concern over casualties,
and complete rejection of any offer of peace talks which "began to
Khmer Rouge fanaticism and capacity for violence were
deeper than anyone had suspected."
Reports of the brutal policies of the organization soon made their way
Phnom Penh and into the population foretelling the violence that
was about to consume the nation. There were tales of the forced
relocations of entire villages, of the summary execution of any who
disobeyed or even asked questions, the forbidding of religious
practices, of monks who were defrocked or murdered, and where
traditional sexual and marital habits were foresworn. War
was one thing, the offhand manner in which the
Khmer Rouge dealt out
death, so contrary to the Khmer character, was quite another.
Reports of these atrocities began to surface during the same period in
which North Vietnamese troops were withdrawing from the Cambodian
battlefields. This was no coincidence. The concentration of the PAVN
South Vietnam allowed the
Khmer Rouge to apply their
doctrine and policies without restraint for the first time.
Norodom Sihanouk of
Cambodia visiting Communist Romania in
Khmer Rouge leadership was almost completely unknown by the
public. They were referred to by their fellow countrymen as peap prey
– the forest army. Previously, the very existence of the communist
party as a component of
GRUNK had been hidden. Within the
"liberated zones" it was simply referred to as "Angka" – the
organization. During 1973, the communist party fell under the control
of its most fanatical members,
Pol Pot and Son Sen, who believed that
Cambodia was to go through a total social revolution and that
everything that had preceded it was anathema and must be
Also hidden from scrutiny was the growing antagonism between the Khmer
Rouge and their North Vietnamese allies. The radical
leadership of the party could never escape the suspicion that Hanoi
had designs on building an Indochinese federation with the North
Vietnamese as its master. The
Khmer Rouge were ideologically tied
to the Chinese, while North Vietnam's chief supporters, the Soviet
Union, still recognized the
Lon Nol government as legitimate.
After the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, PAVN cut off the supply
of arms to the Khmer Rouge, hoping to force them into a
cease-fire. When the Americans were freed by the signing of
the accords to turn their air power completely on the Khmer Rouge,
this too was blamed on Hanoi. During the year, these suspicions
and attitudes led the party leadership to carry out purges within
their ranks. Most of the Hanoi-trained members were then executed on
the orders of Pol Pot.
As time passed, the need of the
Khmer Rouge for the support of Prince
Sihanouk lessened. The organization demonstrated to the people of the
'liberated' areas in no uncertain terms that open expressions of
support for Sihanouk would result in their liquidation. Although
the prince still enjoyed the protection of the Chinese, when he made
public appearances overseas to publicize the
GRUNK cause, he was
treated with almost open contempt by Ministers
Ieng Sary and Khieu
Samphan. In June, the prince told Italian journalist Oriana
Fallaci that when "they [the Khmer Rouge] have sucked me dry, they
will spit me out like a cherry stone."
By the end of 1973, Sihanouk loyalists had been purged from all of
GRUNK's ministries and all of the prince's supporters within the
insurgent ranks were also eliminated. Shortly after Christmas, as
the insurgents were gearing up for their final offensive, Sihanouk
spoke with the French diplomat Etienne Manac'h. He said that his hopes
for a moderate socialism akin to Yugoslavia's must now be totally
dismissed. Stalinist Albania, he said, would be the model.
Fall of Phnom Penh
Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia
The final offensive against
Phnom Penh in April 1975.
By the time the
Khmer Rouge initiated their dry-season offensive to
capture the beleaguered Cambodian capital on 1 January 1975, the
Republic was in chaos. The economy had been gutted, the transportation
network had been reduced to air and water systems, the rice harvest
had been reduced by one-quarter, and the supply of freshwater fish
(the chief source of protein) had declined drastically. The cost of
food was 20 times greater than pre-war levels and unemployment was not
even measured anymore. Phnom Penh, which had a pre-war population
of around 600,000, was overwhelmed by refugees (who continued to flood
in from the steadily collapsing defense perimeter), growing to a size
of around two million. These helpless and desperate civilians had no
jobs and little in the way of food, shelter, or medical care. Their
condition (and the government's) only worsened when
Khmer Rouge forces
gradually gained control of the banks of the Mekong. From the
riverbanks, their mines and gunfire steadily reduced the river convoys
bringing relief supplies of food, fuel, and ammunition to the slowly
starving city (90 percent of the Republic's supplies moved by means of
the convoys) from South Vietnam. After the river was effectively
blocked in early February, the U.S. began an airlift of supplies into
Pochentong Airport. This became increasingly risky, however, due to
communist rocket and artillery fire, which constantly rained down on
the airfield and city. The
Khmer Rouge cut off overland supplies to
the city for more than a year before it fell on 17 April 1975. Reports
from journalists stated that the
Khmer Rouge shelling "tortured the
capital almost continuously," inflicting "random death and mutilation"
on millions of trapped civilians.
Desperate, yet determined, units of FANK soldiers, many of whom had
run out of ammunition, dug in around the capital and fought until they
were overrun as the
Khmer Rouge advanced. By the last week of March
1975, approximately 40,000 communist troops had surrounded the capital
and began preparing to deliver the coup de grace to about half as many
Lon Nol resigned and left the country on 1 April, hoping that a
negotiated settlement might still be possible if he was absent from
the political scene.
Saukam Khoy became acting president of a
government that had less than three weeks to live. Last-minute efforts
on the part of the U.S. to arrange a peace agreement involving
Sihanouk ended in failure. When a vote in the U.S. Congress for a
resumption of American air support failed, panic and a sense of doom
pervaded the capital. The situation was best described by General Sak
Sutsakhan (now FANK chief of staff):
"The picture of the
Khmer Republic which came to mind at that time was
one of a sick man who survived only by outside means and that, in its
condition, the administration of medication, however efficient it
might be, was probably of no further value."
Saukham Khoy, successor to
Lon Nol as President of the Khmer Republic
arrives on board the USS Okinawa on 12 April 1975 after being
evacuated from Phnom Penh.
On 12 April, concluding that all was lost, the U.S. evacuated its
embassy personnel by helicopter during Operation Eagle Pull. The 276
evacuees included U.S. Ambassador John Gunther Dean, other American
Acting President Saukam Khoy, senior Khmer
Republic government officials and their families, and members of the
news media. In all, 82 U.S., 159 Cambodian, and 35 third-country
nationals were evacuated. Although invited by Ambassador Dean to
join the evacuation (and much to the Americans' surprise), Prince
Sisowath Sirik Matak, Long Boret,
Lon Non (Lon Nol's brother), and
most members of Lon Nol's cabinet declined the offer. All of them
chose to share the fate of their people. Their names were not
published on the death lists and many trusted the Khmer Rouge's
assertions that former government officials would not be murdered, but
would be welcome in helping rebuild a new Cambodia.
After the Americans (and Saukam Khoy) had departed, a seven-member
Supreme Committee, headed by General Sak Sutsakhan, assumed authority
over the collapsing Republic. By 15 April, the last solid defenses of
the city were overcome by the communists. In the early morning hours
of 17 April, the committee decided to move the seat of government to
Oddar Meanchey Province
Oddar Meanchey Province in the northwest. Around 10:00, the voice of
General Mey Si Chan of the FANK general staff broadcast on the radio,
ordering all FANK forces to cease firing, since "negotiations were in
progress" for the surrender of Phnom Penh. The war was over but
the terrible dreams of the
Khmer Rouge were about to come to fruition
in the newly proclaimed Democratic Kampuchea.
Long Boret was captured
and beheaded on the grounds of the Cercle Sportif, and a similar fate
would await Sirik Matak and other senior officials. Captured FANK
officers were taken to the Monoram Hotel to write their biographies
and then taken to the Olympic Stadium where they were
Khmer Rouge troops immediately began to
forcibly empty the capital city, driving the population into the
countryside and killing tens of thousands in the process. The Year
Zero had begun.
In the Cambodian Civil War,
Khmer Rouge insurgents reportedly
committed atrocities during the war. These include the murder of
civilians and POWs by slowly sawing off their heads a little more each
day, the destruction of Buddhist wats and the killing of
monks, attacks on refugee camps involving the deliberate murder
of babies and bomb threats against foreign aid workers, the
abduction and assassination of journalists, and the shelling of
Phnom Penh for more than a year. Journalist accounts stated that
Khmer Rouge shelling "tortured the capital almost continuously",
inflicting "random death and mutilation" on 2 million trapped
Khmer Rouge forcibly evacuated the entire city after taking it, in
what has been described as a death march:
François Ponchaud wrote: "I
shall never forget one cripple who had neither hands nor feet,
writhing along the ground like a severed worm, or a weeping father
carrying his ten-year-old daughter wrapped in a sheet tied around his
neck like a sling, or the man with his foot dangling at the end of a
leg to which it was attached by nothing but skin"; John Swain
recalled that the
Khmer Rouge were "tipping out patients from the
hospitals like garbage into the streets ... In five years of war,
this is the greatest caravan of human misery I have seen."
Cambodian humanitarian crisis
History of Cambodia
Weapons of the Cambodian Civil War
Economic history of Cambodia
^ Beginning in 1966, Cambodians sold 100,000 tons of Cambodian rice to
PAVN, who offered the world price and paid in U.S. dollars. The
government paid only a low fixed price and thereby lost the taxes and
profits that would have been gained. The drop in rice for export (from
583,700 tons in 1965 to 199,049 tons in 1966) elevated an economic
crises that grew worse with each passing year.
^ a b Global security –
Cambodia Civil War
^ a b c d e f Spencer C. Tucker (2011). The Encyclopedia of the
Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO.
p. 376. ISBN 978-1-85109-960-3.
^ Sarah Streed (2002). Leaving the house of ghosts: Cambodian refugees
in the American Midwest. McFarland. p. 10.
^ Heuveline, Patrick (2001). "The Demographic Analysis of Mortality in
Cambodia". Forced Migration and Mortality. National Academy Press.
pp. 103–104. ISBN 9780309073349. Subsequent reevaluations
of the demographic data situated the death toll for the [civil war] in
the order of 300,000 or less.
^ Banister, Judith; Johnson, E. Paige (1993). "After the Nightmare:
The Population of Cambodia". Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia: The
Khmer Rouge, the
United Nations and the International Community. Yale
University Southeast Asia Studies. p. 87.
ISBN 9780938692492. An estimated 275,000 excess deaths. We have
modeled the highest mortality we can justify for the early
^ Sliwinski estimates 240,000 wartime deaths (Sliwinski 1995,
p. 48). He characterizes other estimates ranging from
600,000–700,000 as "the most extreme evaluations" (p. 42).
^ a b "Cambodia: U.S. Invasion, 1970s". Global Security. Retrieved 2
^ a b c Dmitry Mosyakov, "The
Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese
Communists: A History of Their Relations as Told in the Soviet
Archives," in Susan E. Cook, ed., Genocide in
Cambodia and Rwanda
(Yale Genocide Studies Program Monograph Series No. 1, 2004), p54ff.
Available online at: www.yale.edu/gsp/publications/Mosyakov.doc "In
April–May 1970, many North Vietnamese forces entered
response to the call for help addressed to Vietnam not by Pol Pot, but
by his deputy Nuon Chea. Nguyen Co Thach recalls: "
Nuon Chea has asked
for help and we have liberated five provinces of
Cambodia in ten
^ a b Shawcross, William, Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the
Cambodia New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979, p. 222
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown et al., pp. 54–58.
^ a b Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 83.
^ a b Lipsman and Doyle, p. 127.
^ Victory in Vietnam, p. 465, fn. 24.
^ a b Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 85.
^ Chandler, pp. 153–156.
^ Osborne, p. 187.
^ Chandler, p. 157.
^ a b Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 86.
^ Chandler, pp. 164–165.
^ Osborne, p. 192.
^ a b Lipsman and Doyle, p. 130.
^ Chandler, p. 165.
^ a b Chandler, p. 166.
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 87.
^ Chandler, p. 128.
^ Deac, p. 55.
^ Chandler, p. 141.
^ a b Sutsakhan, p. 32.
^ Chandler, pp. 174–176.
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 89.
^ a b c Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 90.
^ Lipsman and Doyle, p. 140.
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 88.
^ Karnow, p. 590.
^ Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Command History 1967, Annex F,
Saigon, 1968, p. 4.
^ Nalty, pp. 127–133.
^ Clymer, Kenton (2004),
United States and Cambodia: 1969–2000,
Routledge, pg. 12.
^ Shawcross, pps. 68–71 & 93–94.
^ Clymer, Kenton (2013). The
United States and Cambodia, 1969-2000: A
Troubled Relationship. Routledge. pp. 14–16.
^ Clymer, Kenton (2013). The
United States and Cambodia, 1969-2000: A
Troubled Relationship. Routledge. pp. 19–20.
^ Alex J. Bellamy (2012). Massacres and Morality: Mass Atrocities in
an Age of Civilian Immunity. Oxford University Press.
^ a b Owen, Taylor; Kiernan, Ben (October 2006). "Bombs Over Cambodia"
(PDF). The Walrus: 62–69. Kiernan and Owen later revised their
estimate of 2.7 million tons of U.S. bombs dropped on
Cambodia down to
the previously accepted figure of roughly 500,000 tons: See Kiernan,
Ben; Owen, Taylor (2015-04-26). "Making More Enemies than We Kill?
Calculating U.S. Bomb Tonnages Dropped on Laos and Cambodia, and
Weighing Their Implications". The Asia-Pacific Journal. Retrieved
^ Marek Sliwinski, Le Génocide Khmer Rouge: Une Analyse
Démographique (L’Harmattan, 1995), pp. 41-8.
^ See also Heuveline, Patrick (2001). "The Demographic Analysis of
Mortality in Cambodia," in Forced Migration and Mortality, eds. Holly
E. Reed and Charles B. Keely. Washington, D.C.: National Academy
Press; and Banister, Judith, and Paige Johnson (1993). "After the
Nightmare: The Population of Cambodia." In Genocide and Democracy in
Cambodia: The Khmer Rouge, the
United Nations and the International
Community, ed. Ben Kiernan. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University
Southeast Asia Studies, for an overview of Cambodian civil war
^ The Crime of Cambodia: Shawcross on Kissinger's Memoirs New York
Magazine, 5 Nov 1979
^ The Economist, 26 February 1983.
^ Washington Post, 23 April 1985.
^ a b Rodman, Peter, Returning to Cambodia, Brookings Institution, 23
^ Lind, Michael, Vietnam: The Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of
America's Most Disastrous Military Conflict, Free Press, 1999.
^ Chandler, David 2000, Brother Number One: A Political Biography of
Pol Pot, Revised Edition, Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, pp.
96–7. "The bombing had the effect the Americans wanted—it broke
the communist encirclement of Phnom Penh. The war was to drag on for
two more years."
^ Timothy Carney, "The Unexpected Victory," in Karl D. Jackson, ed.,
Cambodia 1975–1978: Rendezvous With Death (Princeton University
Press, 1989), pp. 13–35.
^ Shawcross, p. 118.
^ Deac, pp. 56–57.
^ Lipsman and Doyle, p. 142.
^ Sutsakhan, p. 42.
^ Lipsman and Doyle, p. 143.
^ Shawcross, pp. 112–122.
^ Shawcross, p. 126.
^ a b c d e f Lipsman and Doyle, p. 144.
^ Deac, p. 69.
^ Deac, p. 71.
^ Deac, p. 75.
^ Lipsman and Doyle, p. 145.
^ Lipsman and Doyle, p. 146.
^ David P. Chandler, The Tragedy of Cambodian History, New Haven CT:
Yale University Press, 1991, p. 231.
^ Chandler, pp. 228–229.
^ Chandler, p. 200.
^ Osborne, pp. 214, 218.
^ Chandler, p. 201.
^ Chandler, p. 202.
^ Szalontai, Balázs (2014). "Political and Economic Relations between
Communist States". In Smith, Stephen Anthony. Oxford Handbook in the
History of Communism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
^ Lipsman and Brown, p. 146.
^ Karnow, p. 607.
^ a b Karnow, p. 608.
^ Deac, p. 79.
^ Dmitry Mosyakov, "The
Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese Communists: A
History of Their Relations as Told in the Soviet Archives," in Susan
E. Cook, ed., Genocide in
Cambodia and Rwanda (Yale Genocide Studies
Program Monograph Series No. 1, 2004), p54ff
^ Deac, p. 72. PAVN units involved included the 1st, 5th, 7th, and 9th
Divisions and the PAVN/NLF C40 Division. Artillery support was
provided by the 69th Artillery Division.
^ Sutsakhan, p. 48.
^ Deac, p. 172.
^ Sutsakhan, p. 39.
^ Nalty, p. 276.
^ Shawcross, p. 190.
^ Shawcross, p. 169.
^ Shawcross, pp. 169, 191.
^ a b Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 108.
^ Shawcross, pp. 313–315.
^ Chandler, p. 205.
^ General Creighton Abrams, commander of the Military Assistance
Command, Vietnam dispatched General Conroy to
Phnom Penh to observe
the situation and report back. Conroy's conclusions were that the
Cambodian officer corps "had no combat experience...did not know how
to run an army nor were they seemingly concerned about their ignorance
in the face of the mortal threats that they faced." Shaw, p. 137.
^ a b Sutsakhan, p. 89.
^ Sutsakhan, pp. 26–27.
^ The evolution of the communist forces is described in Sutsakhan, pp.
^ Sutsakhan, p. 79
^ Nalty, p. 199.
^ Douglas Pike, John Prados, James W. Gibson, Shelby Stanton, Col. Rod
Paschall, John Morrocco, and Benjamin F. Schemmer, War in the Shadows.
Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1988, p. 146.
^ War in the Shadows, p. 149.
^ Chandler, pp. 222–223.
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 100.
^ Etcheson, Craig (1984). The Rise and Demise of Democratic Kampuchea.
Westview. p. 118. ISBN 0-86531-650-3.
^ Morrocco, p. 172.
^ Shawcross, p. 297.
^ a b Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 106.
^ a b Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, pp. 106–107.
^ Shawcross, p. 322.
^ Osborne, p. 203.
^ a b c d e Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 107.
^ Chandler, p. 216.
^ Ideology was not all that separated the two communist groups. Many
Cambodian communists shared racially based views about the Vietnamese
with their fellow countrymen. Deac, pp. 216, 230.
^ Deac, p. 68.
^ Shawcross, p. 281.
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 107
^ Chandler, p. 211.
^ Chandler, p. 231.
^ Osborne, p. 224.
^ Shawcross, p. 321.
^ Shawcross, p. 343.
^ Lipsman and Weiss, p. 119.
^ Barron, John and Anthony Paul (1977), Murder of a Gentle Land,
Reader’s Digest Press, pp. 1–2.
^ Snepp, p. 279.
^ Deac, p. 218.
^ Sutsakhan, p. 155.
^ The Republic's five-year war cost the U.S. about a million dollars a
day – a total of $1.8 billion in military and economic aid.
Operation Freedom Deal
Operation Freedom Deal added another $7 billion. Deac, p. 221.
^ Isaacs, Hardy and Brown, p. 111.
^ Ponchaud, p. 7.
^ a b Becker, Elizabeth (1998). When the war was over:
Khmer Rouge Revolution. Public Affairs. p. 160.
^ Kirk, Donald (14 July 1974). "I watched them saw him 3 days".
^ Kirk, Donald (14 July 1974). "Khmer Rouge's Bloody War on Trapped
Villagers". Chicago Tribune.
^ Yates, Ronald (17 March 1975). "Priest Won't Leave Refugees Despite
Khmer Rouge Threat". Chicago Tribune.
^ Power, Samantha (2002). A Problem From Hell. Perennial Books.
^ Becker, Elizabeth (28 January 1974). "The Agony of Phnom Penh". The
^ Barron, John; Paul, Anthony (1977). Murder of a Gentle Land.
Reader's Digest Press. pp. 1–2.
^ Ponchaud, François (1978).
Cambodia Year Zero. Holt, Rinehart and
Winston. pp. 6–7.
^ Swain, John (1999). River of Time: A Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia.
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U.S. and Vietnamese Involvement in
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War from the Dean
Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
Cold War II
Guerrilla war in the Baltic states
Occupation of the Baltic states
Division of Korea
Operation Blacklist Forty
Iran crisis of 1946
Greek Civil War
Corfu Channel incident
Turkish Straits crisis
Restatement of Policy on Germany
First Indochina War
Asian Relations Conference
May 1947 Crises
1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état
Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War (Second round)
Egyptian Revolution of 1952
1953 Iranian coup d'état
Uprising of 1953 in East Germany
Dirty War (Mexico)
1954 Guatemalan coup d'état
Partition of Vietnam
First Taiwan Strait Crisis
Geneva Summit (1955)
Poznań 1956 protests
Hungarian Revolution of 1956
"We will bury you"
Arab Cold War
Syrian Crisis of 1957
1958 Lebanon crisis
Iraqi 14 July Revolution
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
1959 Tibetan uprising
1960 U-2 incident
Bay of Pigs Invasion
1960 Turkish coup d'état
Berlin Crisis of 1961
Portuguese Colonial War
Angolan War of Independence
Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
Mozambican War of Independence
Cuban Missile Crisis
Communist insurgency in Sarawak
Iraqi Ramadan Revolution
Eritrean War of Independence
North Yemen Civil War
1963 Syrian coup d'état
Guatemalan Civil War
1964 Brazilian coup d'état
Dominican Civil War
South African Border War
Transition to the New Order
Laotian Civil War
1966 Syrian coup d'état
Korean DMZ conflict
Greek military junta of 1967–74
Years of Lead (Italy)
USS Pueblo incident
War of Attrition
Protests of 1968
1968 Polish political crisis
Communist insurgency in Malaysia
Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Iraqi Ba'athist Revolution
Sino-Soviet border conflict
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Black September in Jordan
Corrective Movement (Syria)
Cambodian Civil War
1971 Turkish military memorandum
Corrective Revolution (Egypt)
Four Power Agreement on Berlin
Bangladesh Liberation War
1972 Nixon visit to China
North Yemen-South Yemen Border conflict of 1972
Yemenite War of 1972
Eritrean Civil Wars
1973 Chilean coup d'état
Yom Kippur War
1973 oil crisis
Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
Rhodesian Bush War
Angolan Civil War
Mozambican Civil War
Ethiopian Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
Dirty War (Argentina)
1976 Argentine coup d'état
Korean Air Lines Flight 902
Yemenite War of 1979
Grand Mosque seizure
New Jewel Movement
1979 Herat uprising
Seven Days to the River Rhine
Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union
1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics boycotts
1980 Turkish coup d'état
Ugandan Bush War
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
Eritrean Civil Wars
1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War
United States invasion of Grenada
Able Archer 83
1986 Black Sea incident
1988 Black Sea bumping incident
South Yemen Civil War
Bougainville Civil War
Central American crisis
Korean Air Lines Flight 007
People Power Revolution
Afghan Civil War
United States invasion of Panama
1988 Polish strikes
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Revolutions of 1989
Fall of the Berlin Wall
Mongolian Revolution of 1990
Fall of communism in Albania
Breakup of Yugoslavia
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Sino-Indian border dispute
North Borneo dispute
Sovereignty of Puerto Rico during the Cold War
Crusade for Freedom
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Voice of America
Voice of Russia
Nuclear arms race
Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
Soviet espionage in the United States
United States relations
Russian espionage in the United States
American espionage in the
Soviet Union and Russian Federation
CIA and the Cultural Cold War
Cold War II
List of conflicts
French Protectorate of Cambodia
Sihanouk era (1954–70)
Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea
People's Republic of Kampuchea
State of Cambodia